"This was a stupid idea."
"Yeah, well, can't exactly get out of it now, can you?"
"Shut up, stupid cat."
Kyo Sohma wheeled around in his seat in an attempt to plant a firm fist in the face of his cousin, Yuki. Unfortunately for the red-head, the two carts were just a few inches too far apart to make this an easy exercise. Tohru Honda, leaning around from her own cart in from of Kyo, smiled nervously at the two boys, hoping that they wouldn't get into a fight up here, of all places… Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud mechanical squeal from somewhere beneath the carts and a stomach-jolting movement forward and up –
Wait… Why are our heroes sitting in carts? What the heck is going on?!
Earlier that morning, Kyo, Yuki, and Tohru had taken a train into a large city. Tohru had seen large cities before, yet couldn't resist pressing her face against the glass and gaping in wonder; some of those buildings seemed to disappear into the clouds (Hey, she's a girl of simple tastes, what can I say)! The two boys were actually being quite indulgent this morning, partly because Shigure ("That perverted dog!" Kyo seethed) had threatened to take Tohru to the city alone if the boys didn't do it. Since there really seemed to be no choice in the minds of Yuki or Kyo, they decided to suck it up and spend a day with each other. "Hey! Shut up! We're spending a day with Tohru!" ( I push Kyo back down under a handy table)
Anyway, so the three teenagers took the train and arrived on the city platform around eleven o'clock in the morning, and almost immediately after that Tohru looked up and exclaimed, "What are those?" The boys looked to where she was pointing, almost directly overhead. Kyo raised an eyebrow. What the hell…
Overhead loomed a structure that may be quite familiar to the average American teenager, but not to Tohru.
"It's a roller coaster." Yuki explained, smiling down at his brunette companion, "Would you like to try it? I here they're quite exciting."
Kyo snorted. "Yeah. Like Tohru's gonna get up there and do that… You remember how she was in that haunted house, right?"
Tohru felt a momentary thrill of panic, "Um, is it – is it really that scary? We don't have Haru-san with us to tell a story…" She felt the blood rushing to her head as she glanced skyward once more. Kyo turned to Yuki, "Aw, she couldn't do that, so don't make her or anything. Besides, you probably couldn't do it, either."
"Just because you happen to like heights, stupid cat…"
"DON'T CALL ME STUPID!"
Tohru made a rather hasty decision: "Um, I think I want to try the rollercoaster."
The other two stared at her for a long moment.
"All right, Honda-san," Yuki murmured, taking her arm and leading her toward the ticket booth, "I really think you'll like it… It really isn't that scary." Kyo was still speechless at the prospect that Tohru had agreed to do something kind of… reckless. After another moment, he scampered after the other two, growling, "Don't think for a moment I'm gonna let you take her up there alone, stupid rat…"
And that is how the three of them got into the situation where they are now…
Getting into the individual carts was simply a matter of deciding who should go in front. That was the easy part. However, waiting for over ten minutes half-way up the initial "drop" hill was, to put it lightly, nerve wracking. For a few minutes, the two boys kept Tohru distracted by arguing. Then the three of them sat in a tense silence.
When the mechanical squeal signaled the beginning of the slow yet steady climb to the top of the hill, Tohru found herself clutching the padded edge of the cart with white fingers. Yuki also felt as if a wriggling ball of worms had settled in the region of his stomach, trying to win a battle for dominance over that particular area of the body. Kyo, however, felt his pulse increase slightly in anticipation; he at least was pretty sure that he would enjoy the rollercoaster.
As the train of carts crested the hill, there was a momentary pause before gravity took over. For those of you who have ridden a rollercoaster before, even if you ended up liking it, remembering the anticipation of that first drop can bring back memories of intense psychological and even physical discomfort.
The coaster crested the hill, and its nose tilted downward slightly; all three teenagers had a perfect view of the drop to the bottom. Tohru was speechless, Kyo excited, and Yuki had just thought, Oh, crap…, when the whole thing seemed to catch up with itself and toppled horribly over the edge of the hill. Tohru had been planning to scream, it seemed to be the thing to do, but found that all the air in her lungs had strangely vanished at the top of the hill. Kyo let out a whoop, which turned into a yelp as the rollercoaster veered around a sudden corner. Yuki remained silent throughout these few moments, his eyes closed as if in prayer. Maybe he was praying. We may never really know.
The sudden turn to the right had also shocked Tohru, but after that first curve a marvelous thing happened: not only had the air returned to her lungs, but she suddenly became aware of the rush of wind all around her and the thrilling speed at which they were traveling. She cheered, opening her streaming eyes as wide as possible so as not to miss anything.
That first turn had completely messed up Kyo's center of gravity, cool, you name it. Now he clung for dear life to the sides of his cart, hoping that all this would be over soon. Behind him, Yuki opened his eyes just in time to see another drop right ahead, and he shut them quickly again. As the coaster dropped over this smaller hill, he heard Tohru cry out up ahead. Oh man, she's probably terrified up there… What was I thinking, talking her into this?
Since the two boys were so distracted by their own internal suffering, they didn't notice when the coaster flashed by a camera and a flash went off. Tohru, however, saw it coming and smiled broadly at the lens; she was having fun!
Finally, the coaster leveled out and gradually slowed to a crawl. It carried its passengers up to the loading area, and the belts unlocked in unison, permitting self-extraction from the tiny carts. Tohru untangled herself from her belt, leaned around to face the two boys behind her, and squealed, "Wasn't that fun?"
Several hours later, Shigure snuck a hand into Tohru's totebag and extracted a shiny piece of paper. "I must see how your day turned out," he crowed, holding the paper up to the light, "even though I couldn't come with you," he added with a sigh that was suddenly cut off as he leaned forward for a better look at the paper in his hands...
He let out a bark of laughter before it was snatched from him by Yuki and given back to a smiling Tohru. Yuki hadn't been quite fast enough, however, and would now never live it down; Shigure could still see in his mind's eye the photograph of the three teenagers, Kyo looking like he was going to throw up, Yuki praying like a seasick monk, and Tohru grinning broadly at the camera while she was having the time of her life.
"So," the Dog chuckled, "you did have a good time…"